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Miami Represents in Jonathan Waxman's NYC Fundraiser

Special correspondent Jackie Sayet of Michael's Genuine Food & Drink was in NYC with her team, representing Miami in a Jonathan Waxman-hosted fundraiser for Alex's Lemonade Stand, which non-profit committed to finding a cure for all childhood cancers that has successfully created a culinary roadshow of sorts, traveling the country each year from its homebase in Philly to fundraise by popping up events in select cities. Approximately $250,000 was raised at the event. To put it into perspective, the first Alex's Lemonade Stand event ever raised $2,000. It was a dank shade of gloom and doom outside, but up the ramp to Industria Studios above chef Jonathan Waxman’s West Village restaurant Barbuto on Tuesday night, it was all lemons and sunshine. Executive pastry chef Hedy Goldsmith of Michael’s Genuine represented Miami to join more than 25 celebrated chefs including Tom Colicchio (Craft, Colicchio & Sons in New York,) Marc Vetri (Vetri, Amis in Philadelphia,) and Paul Kahn (Publican, Blackbird, Avec in Chicago) in New York City for the first Lemon:NYC in support of Alex’s Lemonade Stand.

The frenetic evening of giving at its most delicious included a format new for the event: one of a kind 4-course, family-style meals at 25 tables of 10 each led by a chef or chef duo – or in Colicchio’s case, his sous chef-actor Josh Charles (The Good Wife.) A special ballet performance of The Nutcracker’s pas de deux by NYC Ballet principal Daniel Ulbricht and soloist Erica Pereira – whose signed slippers fetched more than $2,000 in the live auction conducted by a most-impressive Colicchio – mirrored the event’s own behind-the-scenes culinary dance to pull the whole thing off. Many of the chefs and benefactors like Toys R Us and Volvo have been longtime supporters of Liz and Jay Scott’s efforts to honor the name and still vibrant spirit of a daughter they lost at an all too young age, so Alex’s events take on a special feeling of community, making the new format all the more appropriate.

Among the diners were Kings of Leon's Caleb Followill with model wife Lily Aldridge, who along with his brother Nathan, donated a signed guitar for the auction. The night ended on a sweet note with Goldsmiths’ brown-bagged treats including lemon pistachio biscotti and lemon coolers, which almost didn’t make the trip through TSA security thanks to their tart citric acid sugar kick!

Said Goldsmith, "Sour lemon gelees are my take on sour patch kids. TSA in MIA should consider training at CIA! My riff on lemonade in a bite, paying homage to the summer treat Alex served from her first fundraising stand on a cold winter's day in Connecticut." But, says Goldsmith, even if she was detained (briefly), it would have been all worth it. "All kids need to be breathe fresh air, play in sandboxes and learn to ride a bike. It's every child's rite of passage.If my participation in Alex's Lemonade Stand helps to get one child out of a hospital bed , then I am all in." [EaterWire]